Even though it’s fun in your personal life, using social media for your business can be overwhelming.
There’s Facebook (pages, groups, and ads), Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. And the option of trying to do them all at once (ha – good luck with that!).
Have you ever felt that you could easily spend your entire day just trying to market your business on social media?
It’s incredibly easy to get sucked in. That’s why I recommend starting with one option at time, and adding on others after you get comfortable.
But where should you start?
If you’re already familiar with one or more social media platforms, then I’d suggest starting with the one that you like the best, and that you’re most familiar with.
Otherwise, let’s go through the big 4:
As of 2018, this is the big dog. Let’s talk numbers first.
As of January 2018, Facebook has (source):
- Over 2 billion active users
- 47% of users are male
- 53% are female
And from an age perspective:
- 18-29 years old – 82% of U.S. online users in this age bracket also use Facebook
- 30-49 years old – 79% of U.S. online users in this age bracket also use Facebook
- 65 and older – 56% of U.S. online users in this age bracket also use Facebook
Based on the numbers, your potential customers are probably on Facebook.
What do people use Facebook for?
People use Facebook to catch up with friends and family, to talk about their lives, and to connect with others.
With the most recent algorithm change, Facebook is trying to emphasize content from friends and family, while putting less emphasis on posts from businesses.
And, they’re coming under increasing scrutiny due to questions around the 2016 election as well as Cambridge Analytica. There may or may not be immediate changes due to these challenges, but it is something to be aware of.
Keep in mind – when people are on Facebook, they’re not there to find or think about your business. They’re on Facebook to catch up with friends and family, and to connect with other people.
Right now, there are 3 strategies to consider for marketing your business on Facebook:
This is the traditional route, but the algorithm change is putting less emphasis on business posts. So you might have a harder time with organic reach. You may need to put more of a focus on content that engages your audience.
With this strategy, you create a Facebook Group that’s centered around what your business offers. This will take time and effort on your part, but it could also give you an opportunity to create a community that knows, likes, and trusts you.
If you have a marketing budget, then this can be a great option. You can choose different options based on your goals, and get your business in front of potential customers.
Twitter can be an incredibly easy platform to get started on. Here are the numbers:
As of January 2018, Twitter has 330 million users (source):
- 37% are 18-29 years old
- 25% are 30-49 years old
And, as of January 2017 (source):
- 47% of US users are female
- 53% of US users are male
What do people use Twitter for?
People use Twitter to talk about things that interest them. It’s a big ole loud conversation.
The lifespan of a tweet is about 15 minutes.
One way to think of Twitter is like a really large cocktail party. Like really large. As a business, your goal is to get in there and mingle, and talk.
The good news is that you can tweet the same message several times throughout the day. And, in fact, you’ll really need to tweet several times a day to increase the chances that your audience will see you.
That’s because Twitter is a very fast moving platform.
As a business owner, you’ll want to find a scheduler like Hootsuite, and schedule your tweets to post throughout the day.
The other good part about Twitter is that since people are talking about topics, they might be interested in a topic related to your business. You might find more engagement on Twitter than Facebook because of that.
Instagram lets users share photos and videos. Here are the numbers:
As of January, 2018, Instagram has 800 million users (source):
- 68% of users are female
- 32% of users are male
- 18-29 years old – 59% of Internet users in this age bracket also use Instagram
- 30-49 years old – 33% of Internet users in this age bracket also use Instagram
What do people use Instagram for?
People go on Instagram to see and share photos and videos (including ones that are professionally shot and edited).
You can’t put links in your posts (you can put one in your profile though). Conversion and text-based posts are limited.
Post something that will grab the attention of someone who’s looking through pictures and videos. It can be beautiful, weird, funny, inspiring, entertaining, etc.
Think outside of the selfie – what would your audience be interested in seeing?
Pinterest isn’t technically social media. Whomp whomp.
Instead, it’s a search engine, similar to Google. Here are the numbers:
As of January 2018, Pinterest has 175 million users (source):
- 81% of users are female
- 19% of users are male
- 67% of users are under 40 years old
- 87% of users have purchased something because of Pinterest
- 93% of active users have used Pinterest to plan for purchases
What do people use Pinterest for?
People use Pinterest to search for things to make their lives better – from products to recipes to information – and for saving and sharing what they find.
There is much less interaction between pinners than on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, so it might seem weird at first.
It can also really suck you in. If you’re not careful, you’ll lose an hour or two before you realize it.
Pins have a long lifespan – about 4 months – but that also means that you won’t necessarily see immediate results. Be patient, and give your pins time to send traffic your way.
Pin on a regular basis and use a scheduler like Tailwind or Boardbooster. Make sure to pin your content and share other people’s content as well. And, join group boards to expand your reach.
So, which social media platform is right for your business?
One or more platforms might have already jumped out at you as you were reading through.
If not, here are some questions for you:
- Are you customers primarily male? Female? Both?
- What age range do your customers normally fall into?
- What’s a really easy way to talk about your product or service – through pictures, videos, or text?
- Which platform appeals to you the most? (Sometimes it’s easier to get started with something you like).
Based on your answers, think about which platform will best meet your business needs. Then get started!